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Thread: I'm a n00b




  1. #1

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    ok heres the deal.........my friend gave me a drive that he had killed a few months ago from a bad-ass OC. The drive might be working and earlier today I installed it and wanna load linux on it. I've been a windows user my whole life.

    What distribution do you recommend and what do I have to read? Do I have to read? Is this harder/easier then I thought? Right now I'm downloading RedHat 8.0. I don't even know if I'm download the right thing! I'm downloading the entire pub folder!!!

    Also I've been hearing some things about bootloaders and stuff like that. What exactly am I missing?

    I have some cd's in my house somewhere either its redhat or mandrake kernal 7.0 or 7.1. Will those work or should I download a newer version. I mean those are already on cd's somewhere. Or is getting a new kernal like running windows 2000 instead of XP. Or can it be as big as the difference between winME and winXP. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Let's get 1 thing straight before we proceed.
    I am not a Linux guru.

    'nuff said about that.


    Here's my 2 cents to go with that;
    Being as the Linux kernel does get improved upon, it can only be to your benefit to get the latest version.

    As to best flavor - there's a million of 'em, so pick 1 and go with it.
    I'm sure you could discuss the matter infinitely and everybody has their own favorite. The world of technology is ever changing, and each distribution is changing as well.
    But pick 1 and try it, this gives you a real point of reference for any you might try in the future. Then you can begin to get a feel for which flavor is "best" based upon your needs and usage.

    Personally, I think that Red Hat has to be the most widely documented distro out there.
    Now that is not saying it is better at 1 thing than another distro might be. In fact in some instances it most certainly is not the best.
    However, when you need some quick help, it may be immediately available to you through a quick internet search. For someone just beginning that is immensely valuable in itself.

    As to installation, some distributions are amazingly easy to install these days (not sure about Red Hat or Mandrake, but both have made great leaps forward since earlier times). There again, deciding where you would like to start will help you by allowing you to focus your effort on the distro of your choice, rather than wasting time with install instructions you may never use.

    I will say this from my personal experience --- SuSE installation is an absolute breeze, Windows could only dream of being so easy.
    While at the same time, SuSE documentation sux and it has pretty much kept it from becoming the full-time OS that I was hoping for when I installed it.

    I won't reccomend a flavor to you, but I will point out the good and the bad of what I know. Not sure if that helps, but good to see you being adventurous -- I sincerely hope you are able to progress farther than I have to date.
    I like Linux, but I have little luck with tweaking it at this point and hardware drivers are an absolute nightmare with me and SuSE.
    I haven't developed the skills and I don't know where to turn to get some.

    I haven't given up, let's just say me and Linux are on seperate vacations. I'm having a bit of difficulty reasoning why I would get a free OS if it means I have to spend $400 on hardware.

    Have you tested that drive??
    Oh well, may not matter anyway, I have an old 8 gig WD that is useless for Windows, yet somehow it performs flawlessly with Linux ----- Go figure! :laugh:

    Best of luck to you!!

    at the current pace of technology we're all noobs -- it's just that some of us have more past experience than others
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  3. #3

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    no I haven't tested the drive yet. But windows did detect it and install drivers for it my bios was able to see it and I did repartition it. So that shows that its not 100% dead. I"M not expecting it to be good or bad I just wanna try out linux on it. After a few months of it working its almost definite that it'll work. So your saying some of my hardware may not work with linux?

    Also I'm currently downloading the images for RedHat 8.0.

    I read up on some tuts that I found on there website and I'm currently downloading the OS. Then I'll read up a little more about how to install it from there. THen that's when I'll learn linux.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like your drive will be OK.
    Mine was locking up in Windows (causing the OS to freeze and preventing a scandisk or defrag from completeing) like it had bad sector or something -- always froze at exactly the same data area or %'age.

    But like I said, it works absolutely flawlessly in Linux __ can't give you a reason for that, but I'm happy to be getting more milage out of it.

    No, I'm not at all implying that you will have hardware problems with Linux. I'm only saying that I am.
    Actually Linux gave me the perfect reason to get off my duff and get a real modem finally, Score +1 for Linux:thumb:

    But my printer, scanner, vidcam & soundboard absolutely do not support Linux.
    OK, scratch the soundcard from that list, I actually had it working once for 20 minutes --- not bad for 6 weeks work on my part:laugh: That was an old AU8820, since I've gotten a Hercules GTXP and I knew going in there was no way that was going to work. I've got an old ESS 1868 that produces reliable low-quality sound in Linux with no trouble at all. Just had to set up a hardware profile in Windows so it ignores it and uses my good card.
    Dang pain in the butt though when I'm in Linux and need help, once I track down info, I have to go to Windows to print it, or else scribble it all down.

    Anyway, if you look around a bit you should find out about your hardware by going here;
    http://hardware.redhat.com/hcl/?pagename=hcl

    Sorry If I misled you, hopefully your hardware will be much more cooperative than mine.

    Good that you picked a distribution. that way you can concentrate on it specifically and get right to work.

    I'll leave you with this food for thought:
    If you are dual-booting, and are presented with the option during the install process. You might want to consider putting GRUB (I believe that's the loader Red Hat uses?) on a floppy.
    That way if you want to boot Windows, just fire up the PC.
    If you want to run Linux, insert the floppy, power on, and choose Red Hat from your boot options. Saves you the slight risk of Linux dinking up your boot sector. That doesn't happen often, but every once in a while........... Windows never does play well with others:laugh:
    I just hang my Linux loader floppy from the case with a string so it's always handy.

    Again, good luck to you!
    Once you've played in Linux a bit, I'm certain you will be amazed at just how powerful an OS it can be. I certainly was.
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  5. #5

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    a bit off topic but.............today my stove got lit ablaze cuasing smoke to go throughout the house. THis happened hours ago and my house is still sorta foggy and smelly. Anyway I'm aware that smoke is bad for PC"s. Especially one like mine with all the fans sucking air in.

    Tonight my computer has blue screened on me TWICE and locked up once. Could this be related to the possibly bad drive I just installed this morning? Or could it be smoke related? As of now I have that new broken drive unplugged but I don't know of any stability issues quite yet cuase I just booted up from a blue screen.

  6. #6
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    Smoke can be pretty grimey, so you might wanna take your machine apart and give it a wipe down with a lint-free cloth. (being careful of static and the such. Small, moving parts such as fan motors might need a good clean.

    As for linux, redhat will be good enough to cut your teeth on, but as you progress and you become more cluey, youll find yourself wishing you never heard of redhat.

  7. #7
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    That may well prove true in the future. For the time being I was using the theory "go with what you've got".

    A fellow has to start somewhere?

    Anyway, by the time the great distro debate dies down, he could have been running one to see if it's going to meet his needs. Sort of a proper OS by elimination technique.
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  8. #8
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    'tis why I said 'as you progress'. :)

    I started on Mandrake 7, moved to slack 7, back to mandrake 8.2, now back to slack 8.1. Doubt ill go back to MDK 9.

    Ive used other distros, just none ive called my own. My mate runs redhat 8; loves it. Its a great intro operating system for him, as he is only using his computer to do simple things. Im not, so rh8 doesnt suit my needs. If your looking to learm, and i mean really learn how linux operates, then redhat isnt the wisest choice. Other distros will teach you more. I threw myself in the deep end with slack, and ive only just started to tread water.

  9. #9

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    well truthfully. If I do stick with linux. Redhat seeing how you said its the easiest to learn. Will be the best option for me. COnsidering I learn alot of things slowly. Do you relize how long its taken me to learn the basics of C++? I started learning that langauge at the beginning of the summer. And I'm still just getting passed loops. Anyway I think redhat will be suitable. Lets just wait and see if this drive even works in the first place. Cuase ever since I pulled it out my computer has been fine. This afternoon when I come home from school I'll be on my PC as usual and if its stable then tomorrow I'm gonna put that suspicious drive back and see if it crashes my system. THen we know we have a bad drive and linux may not even happen unless I come up with another drive. :(

  10. #10
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    you can pickup cheap drives at local computer swap meets/markets or even ebay. Ive run my entire linux expedition from a pissy 4-gig seagate drive with no problems. (apart from initial de-cleansing issues with stupid win98 mbr info)

    i can run all my games still, i just symlink to the files that are on my windows partition. one of these days ill pickup a cheap 20gig ata100 drive and xfer data over to it. 4gig will be demoted to cache drive duties in my linux box project. :)

    remember- lint free cloth. you can get em from an optometrist with your spare change. The same cloths ppl use to clean their glasses. give your devices a wipe down and see how you go.

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